COMM0014 – Blog Post 5 – Personal Brand

Is Mitch Joel right, has personal branding lost its way?

As a child I was enthralled by the magic of radio. In high school and college I was an active member of my campus radio stations, which eventually led to paying jobs with stations in Sherbrooke and Ottawa. As I was getting ready to make my mark in life, once or twice I thought it would be cool to one day own a radio station. I do like to dream and fortunately I was also born with a little bit of common sense. The cost and the mountain of regulations kept that dream a dream.

To quote the immortal Bob Dylan, “the times they are a changin”. Somewhere along the superhighway of dreams, the internet is now allowing my fantasy to become reality. It’s not exactly a radio station, but it is close enough and the opportunities are even greater than what I could have imagined many years ago.

One day while I was chatting about photography with one of my customers, it occurred to me other people might be interested in both listening to and participating in a similar conversation. One thing led to another and I am now hosting my own podcast where I chat about photography. The distribution system is not radio, but the process and the product is the same.

Last night I came across an interesting post on Google+. A new member to a podcasting forum went out and bought all of the equipment needed to host and produce his own podcast, but he needed help coming up with something to actually podcast. I asked what was his motivation to start a podcast? In his work he was asked by local media to participate a few times in radio interviews. To help him find his niche, I suggested he start with what he knows, because its true what they say, you should be you. Apparently that was not good enough. He wants to maybe do a bit of news and maybe some sports. How about some local news and sports interviews with people in his community was my next suggestion. Nah, there was no one around he felt would want to be part of something like that was his reply.

Is this podcaster wanna-be the “sterile and plastic TV news anchor” without an original thought the inspiration for Mitch Joel’s blog post Personal Branding R.I.P.? Aside from possible legal and copyright issues, if all he is going to do is regurgitate the news someone else gathered, then what could he possibly say that would add anything different than anyone else? What would inspire someone to listen to his podcast over a paid professional working for a traditional media channel?

I have to agree with Mitch Joel, “to bring personal branding back from the brink of a world where everyone is not being themselves…then we should encourage everyone to be themselves.”


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